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Student Group 6

Mid-Term Reports


Group No. 1
Purpose of Project:
The purpose for this project is two-fold: (1) to develop a more energy efficient and sustainable street light design, with a focus on the luminaire and (2) to identify a more sustainable funding mechanism for streetlights.  The first objective will be accomplished through a Product Design course and the second objective will be accomplished through a Public Policy Planning and Management (PPPM) Capstone Project

In Salem, there are currently six categories of street light ownership and maintenance:

  • City-owned and maintained (a small portion)
  • City-owned and PGE-maintained (a large portion, including all new streetlights)
  • PGE-owned and PGE-maintained
  • City-owned and Salem Electric- maintained
  • Salem Electric owned and maintained

Product Design
Propose options for streetlightling that are more energy efficient and/or sustainable than current streetlights in Salem.  These options will include sourcing options of currently available streetlights and newly designed products specifically for the city of Salem.

  • The current streetlights do not meet the city's standard for illumination (i.e. they are too dim to meet the standard), but staff believe that the lights are bright enough. Product Design can try to figure out what the right illumination standard is. The Salem Revised Code has language about street lighting illumination standards.
  • Product Design students could be very helpful by doing research on other cities that have adopted successful, well-tested energy-efficient streetlighting systems.  
  • PGE would need to approve any recommended product. They have a current list of approved lights.  Standards around LED lights are still evolving, and there is a lot of lighting in the testing phase right now.

Capstone Project: Propose alternate funding scenarios to cover the cost of street lights in Salem. 

  • Streetlighting is paid 100% with gas tax funds.  The City’s electric bill for street lights is currently covered by $1.2M of gas tax revenues.  Public Works wants to move this funding off of gas tax to another revenue stream.   If the source of funding was different, gas tax revenues could be freed up for other projects and less General Fund money would be needed to support street maintenance. 
  • MPA students will want to look at the pros and cons of changing the ownership and maintenance arrangements above. MPA students can look at how other cities pay for streetlights, whether it is a utility pass-through, property taxes, or other methods, and recommend potential changes.  There are no funding mechanisms that are politically off the table. 
  • PGE has a policy that it will not sell any of its physical assets.  This will be a constraint to consider for the MPA students.

This project directly relates to a Council goal: “Report to Council on efforts to develop funding mechanism for sidewalks, care of street trees, and lighting.  Consider lighting for new subdivisions.”  

Desired Outcomes/Project Objectives

  • Analysis and conclusions about specific areas of Salem’s street lighting
  • Streetlighting options appropriate for these areas
  • Conceptual designs of streetlights
  • Develop students’ skills related to engaging with city issues on design projects
  • Recommendations for redesign of funding for street lights

Deliverables/Work Products

  • Summary report of research on current state of sustainable street lighting options and precedence in other cities
  • Specifications of materials and manufacturing systems that are compatible with an overall sustainable light
  • Conceptual designs
  • Financial model illustrating costs and benefits of alternative funding scenarios

Courses Represented in SCI Course

  • Global Issues Design Studio, PD484, Winter
  • PPPM Capstone Project, Winter/Spring

Timeline, Major Milestones or Tasks

  • October/November 2010: City provide SCI with documentation
  • January 14 or 21: Field trip for students
  • January 31-February 4: mid-course reviews (Eugene)
  • March 7-11: final reviews (Eugene) 

Primary City Staff Contact

Mark Becktel, 503-588-6211
Kevin Hottmann, 503-588-6211 

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